Tacoma Symphony Orchestra puts on a joyful finale at the Pantages, despite amplification issues, in Beethoven’s 9th last Saturday
Tacoma’s Pantages Theater was filled last Saturday night with joyous sounds from both stage and audience – appropriate enough, since the program for the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra’s season finale included Beethoven’s 9th symphony with its beloved “Ode to Joy” final movement. But while the evening featured some very fine playing from the orchestra, masterful control from director Harvey Felder and delightful singing from all four soloists, the Tacoma Symphony Chorus was unfortunately hampered by something you don’t really want to hear in this colossal masterpiece – bad audio amplification.
The basic problem all classical music groups encounter in the Pantages is lousy acoustics. The architecturally splendid hall was in fact built for vaudeville and film, not orchestras, and anyone trying to make a lovely instrumental sound in there is hit by a wall of deadness, cutting off reverberation and making the most golden tones sound harsh. The fact that the orchestra sounded so good playing this dramatically bursting music shows just how well they played. Read more »